Rolls-Royce Banks on BEV Standing a Ghost of a Chance

Rolls-Royce continues its slowly-slowly unveiling of its new BEV with the announcement of its name and a few heavily disguised images.

It says the Spectre will shortly begin on-road testing ahead of its production series launch expected at the end of 2023. The testing program is said to be the most rigorous in Rolls-Royce’s history. The test mules will cover 1.5M miles, a simulation of more than 400 years of use for the vehicle, on average, to all four corners of the world.

The automaker said that founder Charles Rolls prophesied an electrified future for automobiles. In April 1900 he experienced an early electric motor car named the Columbia and declared its electric drive to be ideal. At the time he said: “The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged. But for now, I do not anticipate that they will be very serviceable – at least for many years to come.”

Rolls-Royce is now banking on the time being right to fulfill that prophesy with the new Spectre. Its chief executive officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, said: “It is the beginning of a new legacy for our brand. In that spirit, we have decided on a completely new name for this car. A name that is as powerful and evocative as the nameplates that have served us so perfectly for the past century – names like Phantom, Ghost and Wraith. It’s a name that perfectly fits the ethereal and other worldly environment within which our products exist – a name that we have reserved especially for this moment: Spectre.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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